Little fish bump and kiss loose skin around the edge of abused feet.
They feed, and tickle toes lips sweetly parted where a blister used to be.
Frightening. But gently.
Only little ones come that close.
Big fish became big fish by being fish who know
bodies seldom stop at the toes.
Movement is movement in sunlit clear fluid
and distance is a bent and twisted point of view.
I raise my hands sharp and flattened. Like a band director.
Little notes with speckled fins and silver bellies
leap at the chance to play a melody.
Whole schools of music maneuver at the flash of my hand.
Under the twitch of a pen.
Breaking water with only eyes.
Playing with fish
with my feet dry.
Climbs hundreds of feet in a single hour, with his two.
Carries a quarter his body’s weight.
Groans like an old man when he sits up or stands down.
Knees dryly creak across dry creeks and he sits on logs and logs.
Butt in a round impression on an iceberg-buried rock. Good.
And cool. And lichen spotted. And dog drool.
Feet worse than snakes about shedding off all their skin. Three hundred in.
Talking miles. Mouth flapping open smiles.
Words work mystic magic over rocky ground
and poisoned leaves of three in faded yellow speckled bouquettles.
One boot to stop you.
Two boots can set you free.
Tied up tight. Below the knees.
Harden your sole.
Faster than a speeding pullet chased by foxes after all she’s got,
to the very top, in a single hour, or at least a couple
firewood bundled all tight together.
He is quite possibly the worst hiker ever.
But he breaks hundreds of feet in half dividing them by two.
He draws sugar from the sun lips puckered on the run.
And eats dinner with boulders and calls oaks sisters and brothers
and makes believe nature holds a candle to his own mother.
He is yours. He is not super. But he is here. He understands.
He is here to under-stand. Not long on top of. Under. Stand under.
Under Stand. This is no child of the gods.
What we have here is the restless little brother of Man.
If we take our lives at face value, as in, we assume,
almost all creation came about the same way we did,
then we have a clear precedent for the possibility of making a thing,
damn near conjuring it up from spare parts
and convoluted yet meticulous genetic instruction,
yet still not understanding it in the least.
God could be out there begging pretty please.
While we proud-child our way out of the room.
God may be all knowing, all seeing, held breath disbelieving,
still unable to change a thing without unsettling the child sleeping.
Whom we are grooming for the wild.
Who can not live its entire life within the dense jungle growth of family.
Saplings don’t grow tall in the shade of giants.
Only where they fall.
Our deity may be very much the same thing to us as our parents.
Different. Person to person. Story by story.
The source of our entire existence. Out there.
Driving to work. Or playing golf, or church, or retired,
or buried somewhere.
If our universe is grooming us to go out and re-invent worlds of our own,
it makes sense for our farmer to be more hands off.
Our great, almighty, omnipotent, gracious, loving creator,
just waiting on a postcard.
The pressure is forgotten. Rocks are still here though. Older boulder heads jutted out from the hillside.
Flipping birds off to the blue sky.
Lichened into smiling, sharpened grins slicing shoes.
Leftovers of weight chewed up by time.
Root gripped and green grass headed.
The pressures that shaped their minds far behind.
Barely scarcely remembered been so dismembered.
So it is easier to sow seeds in dirt and let
soil tell the story. Of mountains. Mounting pressure.
And time. Of boulders and great massif crowns
and lichen the color of lime eyes spread open wide. Upholding the sky.
Which might be much lower otherwise.
The sky may even come down all the way
and touch the ground
if not for mountains.
Shhh. Shushes the wind. Fall is falling in. When it only wanted to get its feet wet.
Now we are drenched in wind.
Squeaks the trees. Groaning grinding bark
above their tangled feet. Fire in the ground.
Roots get hollowed out.
And all you see is smoke.
She said it was worst form of fire.
Hugging its own arms and legs as it gets torn apart. Eaten by the breeze like a river swallowing creeks. There is an ocean in the sky.
Birds swim, they don’t fly.
Trees filter like ferns for light.
And vines vy for their height.
Same as eyes. Stared up.
Open. And out.
While autumn shushes all, gold leaves fall,
and tall trees shake bare fists and shout.
Time has come. And like strong steady wind.
Move. Or be moved along